Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson has revealed he suffers from rare disorder called cyclothymia – which leaves him feeling ‘very low or emotionally high’.
The lesser-known condition can lead to bipolar disorder if untreated.
Last year, Matt, 35, revealed on Twitter that his father took his own life when he was 22.
Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson has revealed he suffers from rare disorder called cyclothymia – which leaves him feeling ‘very low or emotionally high’
Matt’s father suffered with bipolar disorder and was an alcoholic.
Matt told The Sun: ‘I need to be doing something at all times, but I have a condition called cyclothymia.
‘I have these extreme episodes where I feel really productive and positive and then periods where I feel low and unmotivated – thankfully this is more rarely.
‘I’m on top of it now, but it was a little confusing when I was younger. I was in my late 20s when I was diagnosed.’
The lesser-known condition can lead to bipolar disorder if untreated
Matt, 35, has enjoyed a successful career presenting TV and radio, currently hosting afternoon slots on Radio 1 on weekends with Mollie King
Matt, 35, has enjoyed a successful career presenting TV and radio, currently hosting afternoon slots on Radio 1 on weekends with Mollie King.
According to the NHS, cyclothymia, or cyclothymic disorder produces mild symtoms that do not seek mental health treatment.
Often, the emotional highs ‘feel nice’ so the patient ‘does not realise there’s anything wrong or want to seek help’.
As a result, cyclothymia often goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Family man: Matt is pictured with his wife Bryony and their daughter Ivy, four
Opening up: In October, he penned the above series of Tweets
The NHS website adds: ‘The mood swings can affect daily life, and cause problems with personal and work relationships. If you think you have cyclothymia, it’s important to seek help from a GP.
‘People with cyclothymia are at risk of developing bipolar disorder, so it’s important to get help before reaching this stage. Men and women of any age can get cyclothymia, but it’s more common in women.’
In October, Matt posted a thread to Twitter, addressing his father’s death.
He wrote: ‘When I was 22, my Dad took his own life. It was exactly 12 years ago today. He suffered from manic depression and bipolar and he was an alcoholic. He’d been in a very depressed state for several years, however it still came as an enormous and awful shock.
‘As a kid I wasn’t really aware of what it meant for someone to be an alcoholic, or that my Dad was one, but I was aware of his drinking and I often felt worried by it. I only really clicked that he was suffering from alcoholism in the immediate months before his death, when I was an adult and I took him to an AA meeting. He’d been hiding the full extent of it for years.
Symptoms of cyclothymia
If you have cyclothymia, you’ll have periods of feeling low followed by periods of extreme happiness and excitement (called hypomania) when you do not need much sleep and feel that you have a lot of energy. The periods of low mood do not last long enough and are not severe enough to be diagnosed as clinical depression. You might feel sluggish and lose interest in things during these periods, but this should not stop you going about your day-to-day life. Mood swings will be fairly frequent – you will not go for longer than 2 months without experiencing low mood or an emotional high. Symptoms of cyclothymia are not severe enough for you to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and your mood swings will be broken up by periods of normal mood.
Treatment for cyclothymia
Treatment usually involves medicine and some kind of talking therapy (psychotherapy).
The aim is to:
• stop the cyclothymia developing into bipolar disorder
• reduce your symptoms
• stop your symptoms coming back
You’ll probably need to continue this treatment for the rest of your life.
You may be prescribed:
• medicines to level out your mood (mood stabilisers)
Mood stabilisers include:
• lithium – commonly used to treat bipolar disorder
• anti-epileptic drugs – such as carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine or sodium valproate
Antidepressants may help improve your low moods, but they may cause you to switch to the other extreme of hypomania.
Recently, some antipsychotics such as quetiapine have also been used as mood stabilisers.
But not all people with cyclothymia respond to medicine.
Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can help with cyclothymia. CBT involves talking to a trained therapist to find ways to help you manage your symptoms by changing the way you think and behave. You’ll be given practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
‘I also didn’t understand what it meant to have a parent whose moods could vary so differently. For a lot of my childhood my Dad was a hilarious, pun making, playful father, but he was also really difficult to live with.
‘In my teenage years, we had a huge falling out, instigated by his behaviour. We were able to go some way to patching things up in the years prior to his death, but I’ve spent a really long time wrestling with my feelings about him.
‘I loved him, but often didn’t like him. I found it hard to grieve for him, as I was so angry with how he had died, and what it had done to our family that I couldn’t forgive him. I never took the time to address my feelings properly. It was much easier to run back to my normal life and try and forget it had happened, which I did.’
Matt spent the first lockdown writing music, and revealed he penned a song about his father, which he shared with his fans.
If you have been affected by this story call The Samaritans on 116123 or visit samaritans.org.